Does Solar Geoengineering have any Scope in a Climate Emergency?

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Geoengineering News

Jun 20, 2024, 8:32:19 AMJun 20
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Augustine Pamplany

03 June 2024

Geoengineering, also called climate engineering, has been considered as one of the major responses to avert the dangerous climate change along with adaptation and mitigation since 2006. Geoengineering, especially solar radiation management (SRM), is a technological approach to combat global warming by managing the incoming solar radiation. The claim behind the coinage of geoengineering as an option to avert dangerous climate change is that it can serve as an emergency mechanism if the earth crosses the dangerous tipping points due to the anthropogenic climate changes. However, this claim of the proponents is rigorously opposed by many scientists and ethicists. This paper tries to give an objective presentation of the current debate over SRM geoengineering as a policy option in a climate emergency. The paper is developed around the research question, does geoengineering carry any potential to avert a climate emergency scenario? This is answered by analysing the main streams of arguments made by the proponents and opponents with regard to the desirability or non-desirability of SRM in a climate emergency caused by the anthropogenic climate change? This question is tried to be answered primarily by a review of literature presenting and analysing the challenges and opportunities at stake in geoengineering as an emergency option. The literature exhibits a sharp divide between the proponents and opponents of the geoengineering technologies. A definitive judgement over its desirability or non-desirability is rendered ambivalent by the prevalent scientific uncertainties, inadequate data, insufficient field tests and the unprecedented scale and range of consequences of deploying such a technology with a global outreach in the open system of the earth. The literature presents an unsettled debate in this regard. Most of the second generation of ethical deliberation over geoengineering is inclined to reject the scope of SRM geoengineering as a policy option in an emergency scenario. The discussion argues that an informed decision on the scope of solar geoengineering in an emergency scenario demands geoengineering framings specific to emergency and the greater presence of emergency scientists on the debate is recommended.

Source: American Journal of Science Education Research 

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